DrAlf asks an important question to which the answer is ‘no’, and even a billion in savings in this area is little more than a rounding error.
We know that the Government has to find a further £48 billion gbp in the coming Parliament, or that its successor does.
None of the political parties have identified more than £2 billion gbp in savings and local authorities have made and are making no meaningful cuts or attempting to merge.
Nobody talks about productivity, nobody talks about the Barnett Formula and everyone talks about “localism” which will add yet more costs and create diseconomies of scale.
The number of old , unproductive people is rising, the number of illiterate and not job ready youngsters is rising and tax receipts are falling.
That means more costs, no savings and unless we improve the top line with more exports further decline and in many cases no services at all.
The question of delivering better services for less money is redundant unless we are prepared for harsh and radical measures.
Since we are not deterioration and greater expense plus non service provision are the order of the day.